Resident Evil Revelations 2 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC
With the third episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2, it’s almost starting to feel like Capcom can do no wrong with this latest entry in the decade-old series. Episode 3, titled Judgment, is the best episode yet and it strikes a perfect balance between fleshing out the game’s plot and throwing players into heart-pounding, stress-inducing set pieces.
Puzzle rooms and key hunting has always been a staple of the older Resident Evil games and I’m pleased to report that they’ve made a return in Judgment. While the puzzles themselves aren’t particularly challenging, they did serve their purpose of getting players to slow down and to fully take in the environment they were in. The first half of the episode has the Overseer forcing Claire and Moira to explore a factory and a slaughterhouse to obtain two key items needed to open a third door.
Ceiling spikes lowering themselves onto the women, dodging laser beams, and replacing gems with fake ones all felt like a throwback to the earlier games in the series. Given that the first two episodes have been rather action-packed, the return of environmental puzzles in Judgment was a welcome change of pace.
The environments are as gloomy and disgusting as ever. The slaughterhouse, in particular, is slathered with blood and pig carcasses hanging on hooks. Jump scares are as plentiful in this episode much as they have been in the previous ones, and are great for keeping you on your toes at all times.
While the AI still performs extremely pitifully in single-player mode, the importance of teamwork and partnership really shines in Judgment. In a particularly tense sequence near the end of Claire and Moira’s half, the duo has to split up and work together to clear obstacles and make it to the end of a burning room. Couple that with a 5-minute countdown and this is easily one of the most intense and exciting sequences I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing in the Resident Evil series.
Though not quite as intense as trying to escape a burning room in 5 minutes, Barry and Natalia also have a similar sequence where the latter has to open a series of doors for Barry. This is made challenging by the presence of the invisible monsters introduced in the previous episode and players will have to constantly switch between both characters to identify the enemies’ locations.
As I’ve mentioned in my reviews of the first two episodes, Barry and Natalia have been consistently stealing the spotlight with how tactical and stealthy players have to be with them. There is finally a greater focus on Claire and Moira this time around as the plot progresses at quite a clip in the first half. Moira is forced to face the shadows of her mysterious past (we finally learn why she hates guns!) while Claire must deal with elements of betrayal.
The two women come face to face with a Tyrant-like monster near the end of their arc in Judgment and the resolution to that fight is both epic and emotional, depending on how you choose to handle it. Both characters develop quite a fair bit in this episode and a nod must be given to Capcom for how well they’ve written Moira in this story. While I have enjoyed watching Moira onscreen for the past two episodes, she’s certainly become a much more admirable character now that we’ve finally gotten to see little flashes of her past and how she deals with it. There’s no doubt about it – Claire has taken a backseat in this adventure, and Resident Evil Revelations 2 is fast becoming Moira’s story.
Even the lovable Barry Burton breaks out of his one-liner shell when he displays a softer, more human side in this episode. While there weren’t many significant plot developments in the second half of Judgment, it was heartwarming to watch the relationship between Barry and Natalia continue to grow as the young girl tries to support him on a more emotional level.
Episode 3 has pushed the story of Resident Evil Revelations 2 into overdrive and there’s little doubt that this is the strongest episode by far. Judgment keeps up the pace with its plot twists and breaks the action up nicely by throwing in some pretty elaborate environmental puzzles into the mix. After completing three episodes with three equally gripping cliffhanger endings, I’m all prepared for one hell of a finale when the final episode releases next week.